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Cardinal Pimenta laid to rest
Mumbai, July 24, 2013: Cardinal Simon Pimenta, retired archbishop of Mumbai, was laid to rest yesterday in his native parish of St John the Evangelist in Marol. Despite the rain, nearly 5,000 mourners, led by archbishop Oswald Cardinal Gracias, paid respects to the priest who "lived his life" in the service of the faith.
"He was a true ambassador of the country who brought people of divergent views together. He was kind, gentle and understanding," said Cardinal Gracias. "Two days ago, I was in Hong Kong, where I spoke about his landmark role in church affairs. Thousands, including government officials and ministers, have beaten the weather to attend his last rites. This is an affirmation of his eminence," he added.
Cardinal Simon Ignatius Pimenta died on Friday while he was resting at the Clergy Home in Bandstand, Bandra, having moved here as his apartment at the Archbishop's House was undergoing repair. From the Vatican, Pope Francis sent a "telegram of condolence" to Cardinal Gracias for the death of the archbishop emeritus.
He expressed his closeness to Cardinal Pimenta's family and gave an "apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord". On Tuesday noon, a special service was held at Colaba's Holy Name Cathedral. Around 2,000 people waited to get a glimpse of Cardinal Pimenta, who served as the head of the church from 1988 through 1997.
The body was then transported to Marol for last rites. Priests at St John the Evangelist Church recalled the senior clergyman whose family continues to be associated with the parish.
"Cardinal Pimenta lived his life doing a lot of good work and uniting the Church. His two sisters oversaw the arrangements for the last rites," said parish priest Fr. Clarence Fonseca.
(Source: Times of India / UCAN)